Most Green Party supporters share the same values and aims as the Labour Party: reducing inequality, saving the NHS, building more homes, a commitment to human rights and civil liberties and protecting our environment. It’s what gets us out of bed in the morning and it’s why we entered politics.
Like me, they were proud of the many amazing achievements of the last Labour government: the introduction of the minimum wage, reducing child poverty by a third, the introduction of the Human Rights Act, civil partnerships and the groundbreaking Climate Change Act. But after 13 years of Labour government, they also had concerns on issues such as civil liberties and the Iraq war.
These concerns were shared by Ed Miliband in 2010. It’s why he ran for the leadership of the Labour Party on a message of change, it’s why I decided to support him and, ultimately, it’s why he won. Under Ed’s leadership Labour has rediscovered its radicalism and boldness and we have redoubled our historic fight against inequality.
Labour’s policies are the most radical of any party, six months away from a general election that there’s every chance we will win. Reducing inequality is at the heart of our economic agenda. We will massively increase the minimum wage, bring back the 10p tax rate for low earners and scrap the bedroom tax. We will introduce a mansion tax on properties worth more than £2m, and bring back the bankers’ bonus tax and the 50p tax rate for the very wealthiest. We will build 200,000 homes a year by the end of the next parliament, invest at least £2.5bn in the NHS and make schools accountable to local communities again.
On human rights and civil liberties, we are committed to defending our Human Rights Act from Tory attacks and staying in the European Court of Human Rights. We will extend voting to 16- and 17-year-olds. And we will end the abuse of stop-and-search powers. When it comes to foreign policy, Ed has apologised for the Iraq war, which both he and I opposed. We stopped David Cameron’s rush to war in Syria last year, and just last month we voted in Parliament to recognise Palestine.
In pictures: Changing climate around the world
In pictures: Changing climate around the world
Calved icebergs from the nearby Twin Glaciers are seen floating on the water in Qaqortoq, Greenland
Oroumieh, one of the biggest saltwater lakes on Earth, has shrunk more than 80 percent to 1,000 square kilometers in the past decade. It shrinks mainly because of climate change, expanded irrigation for surrounding farms and the damming of rivers that feed the body of water
A boat navigates among calved icebergs from the nearby Twin Glaciers in Qaqortoq, Greenland. Boats are a crucial mode of transportation in the country that has few roads. As cities like Miami, New York and other vulnerable spots around the world strategize about how to respond to climate change, many Greenlanders simply do what theyve always done: adapt. 'Were used to change, said Greenlander Pilu Neilsen. 'We learn to adapt to whatever comes. If all the glaciers melt, well just get more land
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is seen after being inaugurated in Longyearbyen, Norway. The 'doomsday' seed vault built to protect millions of food crops from climate change, wars and natural disasters opened deep within an Arctic mountain in the remote Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard
A technician preparing to drain a vast underground lake at the Tete Rousse glacier on the Mont Blanc Alpine mountain, to avert a potentially disatrous flood. Some 65,000 cubic metres (2.3 million cubic feet) of water have gathered in a cavity, dangerously raising the pressure beneath the mountain, a favourite spot for holiday makers in Saint-Gervais-les-Bains
Cracked mud is picture at sunrise in the dried shores of Lake Gruyere affected by continuous drought near the western Switzerland village of Avry-devant-Pont. A leading climate scientist warned that Europe should take action over increasing drought and floods, stressing that some climate change trends were clear despite variations in predictions
Cattle graze on grassland that remains dry and brown at the height of the rainy season in south of Bakersfield, California. Its third straight year of unprecedented drought, California is experiencing its driest year on record, dating back 119 years, and dating back as far as 500 years, according to some scientists who study tree rings
An aerial view shows tents of flood-displaced people surrounded by water in southern Sehwan town. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) executive secretary Christiana Figueres met with people displaced by last year's devastating floods. Catastrophic monsoon rains that swept through the country in 2010 and affected some 20 million people, destroyed 1.7 million homes and damaged 5.4 million acres of arable land
An aerial view of flooding in North Wagga Wagga. Climate change is amplifying risks from drought, floods, storm and rising seas, threatening all countries but small island states, poor nations and arid regions in particular, UN experts warned
Damages caused by a landslide on the Pan-American highway near La Moramulca, 55 Km south of Tegucigalpa. International highways have been washed out, villages isolated and thousands of families have lost homes and crops in a region that the United Nations has classified as one of the most affected by climate change
A resident sprays water on a peatland fire in Pekanbaru district in Riau province on Indonesia's Sumatra island. Indonesia, an archipelago of 17,000 islands, is one of the world's biggest carbon emitters because of rampant deforestation. US Secretary of State John Kerry Sunday issued a clarion call for nations to do to more to combat climate change, calling it 'the world's largest weapon of mass destruction'
An excavator clearing a peatland forest area for a palm oil plantations in Trumon subdistrict, Aceh province, on Indonesia's Sumatra island. As Southeast Asia's largest economy grows rapidly, swathes of biodiverse forests across the archipelago of 17,000 islands have been cleared to make way for paper and palm oil plantations, as well as for mining and agriculture. The destruction has ravaged biodiversity, placing animals such as orangutans and Sumatran tigers in danger of extinction, while also leading to the release of vast amounts of climate change-causing carbon dioxide
Stagnant rain water with tannery waste make the Hazaribagh area in Old Dhaka as well as Buriganga River the most polluted. Each year during the seven-month long dry season between October and April the Buriganga River becomes totally stagnant with its upstream region drying up and becoming polluted from toxic waste from city industries
Waste water from Dhaka city drained to the River Buriganga contributes to its pollutions. On the World Water Day observed in 2007 under the theme Coping with Water Scarcity, under the leadership of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, DrikNEWS explores some of the images of the river. UN-Water has identified coping with water scarcity as part of the strategic issues and priorities requiring joint UN action. The theme highlights the significance of cooperation and importance of an integrated approach to water resource management of water at international, national and local levels
Heavy smog has been lingering in northern and eastern parts of China, disturbing the traffic, worsening air pollution and forcing the closure of schools. China's Environment Ministry said it will send inspection teams to provinces and cities most seriously affected by smog to ensure rules on fighting air pollution are being enforced
Ed’s environmental credentials put David Cameron to shame. Ed was the first Secretary of State for Climate Change – a position he fought to create. He played a key role in saving the Copenhagen climate change negotiations from collapse. We will build on our Climate Change Act by creating 1.5 million new green jobs by 2025, making five million homes energy-efficient within 10 years and make the UK’s energy supply carbon-free by 2030.
There will always be those who say we need to go further. But ideals alone are not enough – it’s action that makes a difference to people’s lives. I visited Brighton last week, where the Green Party has run the council since 2011. The council is in real trouble and deeply unpopular with local people. Recycling rates have fallen dramatically and are now among the worst in the country. Less than a third of the affordable homes that were promised have been built. There have been months of strikes by council workers because pay and conditions have been attacked. Piles of rubbish were left festering on the streets throughout a summer of discontent. For me, the failed Green experiment in Brighton shows that creating a better society needs more than just the right values, it also needs realistic plans that can be put into action.
All the opinion polls say that the Green Party will not win a single MP next year. Even Caroline Lucas, with whom I agree on a great many things, looks set to lose her seat. The only party that can form a green and progressive government is Labour.
Like it or not, under the first-past-the-post system, every vote for the Green Party only makes it one vote easier for the Conservatives to win the election. It splits the progressive vote in many constituencies, and means that Tory candidates can win, despite a clear progressive majority opposed to them. Voting for the Green Party next year will only make it more likely that David Cameron will stay on as Prime Minister. That means more tax cuts for the rich, failures on climate change and the continued privatisation of the NHS.
I want those voters considering supporting the Green Party next year to give Labour a chance to prove that we are a truly radical party again. We will be a government they can be proud of and I want them to vote for us with pride. Because the choice is clear: you can either vote for the Green Party, or for a green government – and that can only mean a Labour government.
Sadiq Khan chairs Labour’s Green Party Strategy Unit and is shadow Justice SecretaryReuse content